Brain Cancer Treatment Options
Malignant tumours in the brain are referred to as brain cancer. Genetics and environmental factors are often cited as the leading causes of brain cancers. Cancers were historically seen as incurable, but treatment options have developed drastically in recent years. With modern medicine, there are several options for brain cancer treatment including brain surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. By using a qualified oncologist, you will be able to begin your path to treatment for brain cancer.
Brain Cancer Surgery
Brain surgery is commonplace among brain cancer patients. During the surgery, the surgeon will inspect the affected area to determine if the cells present are malignant. If in fact, they are determined to be cancerous, he will attempt to remove the tumor. Unfortunately, not all brain cancers can be removed by surgery, in these cases, the neurosurgeon will take a sample from the tumor to determine what type of cancer it is and the best way to deal with the ongoing brain cancer treatment.
Brain Cancer Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy involves the usage of high-energy rays to destroy malignant cells. The radiation kills tumor cells while slowing their growth and multiplication. While radiation is considered to be one of the causes of brain cancer, modern medical radiation bursts are very precise, affecting only the cells in the area exposed. There are three main ways in which radiation may be given, external radiation, internal/implant radiation, and stereotactic radiosurgery.
External radiation involves high-energy beam radiation being pointed at the tumor from outside the body. In the meantime, the beam passes through the skin and bones to reach the tumor. This treatment is usually done for a few minutes each day for five days a week.
Internal/implant radiation involves the insertion of a radioactive capsule into the tumour. This capsule continuously emits radiation directly into the tumour. These capsules are designed to have a short shelf life, and will break down in the body after losing their radioactivity. This procedure will require that you remain in the hospital for the duration of the treatment.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is often regarded as a knifeless surgery. An MRI scan is done to gain an exact location of the tumour. Once the tumour is located, high energy dose radiation beams are pointed at the tumour from many different angles. Consequently, the intense bombardment of radiation from many angles may work to destroy the tumour.
Chemotherapy for Brain Cancer
Chemotherapy treatment for brain cancer involves the usage of powerful drugs with heavy side effects to kill malignant cells. The drugs you receive for your brain cancer treatment will depend on the doctor you are seeing. Chemotherapy drugs are usually given through an IV line in cyclical regiments of intensive treatment followed by rest. During the rest periods you will be able to see any changes to the size of the tumour. As is commonly known, chemotherapy is infamous for its side effects which can include extreme nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and hair loss.
New Brain Cancer Treatments
With millions of dollars invested in cancer research each year, it is no surprise that there are a ton of new and exciting treatment opportunities. Accordingly, there are clinical trials available for nearly every type of cancer, including brain cancer.
Many new brain cancer treatments have yet to be verified as effective, however, that isn’t to say that none of them will be. In the first place, progress in medicine comes through persistence.